Five years ago, while his wife Dairelyn Glunt was pregnant with their first child, Jason Glunt sketched out a business plan for a bottle shop. His wife, not a beer drinker, wasn’t crazy about the idea, but Jason promised that she would love the beer sold at the shop.
“Just wait. I will give you a beer that you will love,” he said.
In 2012, Salud Beer Shop opened just three weeks after their daughter was born. The shop is a long and narrow space lined with shelves and coolers holding beer and wine that is difficult to find elsewhere in the Charlotte area.
The bar also has 16 craft beers on tap. I met Dairelyn, 30, at the store in NoDa. Jason, 35, was racing around with carts and barrels, preparing for the expansion to the upstairs space. In my short time there, I noticed the ease in which husband and wife interacted with each other. Their excitement about their business and appreciation for their customers and family was obvious. Add ’80s hip-hop music and old school Nintendo to the mix and you have an inviting place to hang out.
Dairelyn introduced specialty wine to the shop a year and a half ago, with bottle prices ranging from $8-$80. The bar serves a white, red or rosé by the glass, for $7. They host a wine tasting every Wednesday from 6:30-8:30 p.m., which is $5.
Dairelyn answers questions for C5’s Small Business Series:
What did your original business plan look like?
“It was in a notebook. It was literally just Jason writing down ideas. He asked his parents to help him get a small loan since they are business owners themselves. The money Jason borrowed was for the coolers, the draft system and then to stock the place.”
How might your business be different if located in another part of Charlotte?
“I feel like it is good that we are in NoDa, but we are a destination place. A lot of the people that come here are visiting from another state. They heard about us because the shop was featured in Draft Magazine’s 2016 ‘100 Best Beer Bars in America.’
“We work hard to try to have the best tap list in town, so I feel like we are busy not just because we are in NoDa. It definitely helps, but I think we would be just as busy because of the way Jason manages everything.”
How do you decide what products to add to the store?
“We always strive to have the best beers in the shop. Jason researches his beers every day. He reads beer magazines, online sites and newspapers. We try to be as knowledgeable as we can be.
“The other day he read in the NY Times that there are five Merlots under $20. He said to me, ‘We need to get that.’”
Who provides you the most support in your business?
“Our family and our regulars. We have a lot of customers that come here almost every day, either for a draft, a new beer that just came in, or to stock their fridge. It’s humbling to see the amount of support we have day in and day out.”
Where do you go when you have time to chill?
“We go to Fonta Flora Brewery in Morganton. It is one of our favorite breweries. They pride themselves on getting as many local ingredients as possible, and we also find them to be very like-minded people.”
Salud Beer Shop: 3306 N. Davidson St.
Hours: Noon-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-12 a.m. Saturday; Noon-7 p.m. Sunday
Photos: Justin Driscoll
Family history and my own fascination with people and their motivations prompted me to begin this series about Charlotte’s small business owners. Industry, situation and questions will vary. Have a suggestion for a small business owner or entrepreneur to interview? Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Small Business Series.”